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Highlights: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava tests positive for Covid-19

China has kickstarted an ambitious effort to inoculate 50 million people against Covid-19 ahead of the Lunar New Year, using locally developed shots that are moving closer to getting regulatory approval.

By | Updated: Dec 19, 2020 07:59 IST
Highlights: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava tests positive for Covid-19
Health care worker during swab test at Govandi in Mumbai, India.

India recorded 22,890 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry. The nationwide case count has now reached 99,79,447. The number of active cases stands at 3,13, 831, while 95,20,827 patients have been cured or discharged from hospitals. The country also recorded 338 fresh fatalities due to the disease which pushed the nationwide death toll to 1,44,789.

The figure of new cases per million population in India in the last seven days - 147 - is one of the lowest in the world, it underlined. India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, and 40 lakh on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, and 90 lakh on November 20.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 15,66,46,280 samples have been tested up to December 15.

Click here for full Covid-19 coverage

The world Covid-19 caseload is nearing 75 million cases, as per the latest updates by Johns Hopkins University. The Covid-19 dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) reported that the world tally stands at 74,952,221 and 1,662,127 fatalities due to the virus. The US continues to be the worst-affected country by the pandemic with the tally surging past 17 million. The caseload currently stands at 17,206,647 and 310,699 patients succumbing to Covid-19 across the country.

Brazil continues to have the second-highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, according to the tracker with over 184,827 fatalities across the South American country, the tracker stated further.

Here are the highlights:

12:09 PM IST

Telangana reports 551 new Covid-19 cases

Telangana on Thursday registered 551 new Covid-19 cases, one death, and 682 recoveries, taking the total number of cases in the state to 2,80,195. As per the state health department, a total of 2,71,649 people have recovered from Coronavirus infection in the state, while 1,506 succumbed to deaths due to the virus. The active cases currently stand at 7,040. Telangana's recovery rate stands at 96.94 per cent and the case fatality rate stands at 0.53 per cent.

11:30 AM IST

Puducherry adds 50 new Covid-19 cases, 1 death pushes toll to 623

Puducherry registered 50 fresh coronavirus cases taking the overall tally in the union territory to 37,670, a top Health department official said on Friday.

The 50 new infections were detected at the end of the examination of 2,913 samples in the last 24 hours, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release.

11:27 AM IST

Australia imposes border curbs as Sydney virus cluster grows; Christmas travel chaos

Australian states and territories on Friday begun imposing border restrictions after 28 Covid-19 cases were detected from a cluster on Sydney's northern beaches, with fears the number of infections will rise. "Everyone in greater Sydney needs to be on high alert," New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a news conference on Friday in announcing 10 new cases.

Health authorities fear the cluster may have spread to other areas of Sydney, Australia's most populous city, as they have yet to determine the source of the infections. NSW has urged about a quarter of a million residents in the affected suburbs in Sydney to stay home for three days

<p>Australia imposes border curbs as Sydney virus cluster grows; Christmas travel chaos</p>
A person is swabbed by a medical professional at a drive-through coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing clinic in the Warriewood suburb of Sydney, Australia,
11:03 AM IST

China to vaccinate 50 million people for Lunar New Year

China is planning to vaccinate 50 million people in the high-priority group against the coronavirus before the start of the peak Lunar New Year travel season early next year, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday. Beijing is planning to distribute 100 million doses of the vaccines made by Chinese firms Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the report said.

10:59 AM IST

29 new Covid-19 cases push Arunachal Pradesh's tally to 16,603

Arunachal Pradesh's Covid-19 tally rose to 16,603 as 29 more people, including four security personnel, tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Friday. Of the fresh cases, 11 were reported from Tawang, four each from the Capital Complex region and East Siang and three from Lohit, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said

10:33 AM IST

South Africa reports 9,126 new Covid -19 infections

South Africa on Thursday reported 9,126 new coronavirus cases, taking the national tally to 892,813, the country's health department reported. Meanwhile, 184 more Covid -19 deaths were recorded, taking the country's death toll from the disease to 24,011.

10:16 AM IST

Poland reports 11,953 new Covid-19 cases

Poland confirmed on Thursday 11,953 new Covid -19 cases, bringing the country's total caseload to 1,171,854, according to the country's health ministry. The ministry also announced 431 new deaths from the virus, raising the national death toll to 24,345.

10:10 AM IST

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 33,777

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 33,777 to 1,439,938, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 813 to 24,938, the tally showed.

10:01 AM IST

10 new Covid-19 cases in Andamans

Ten more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 4,860, a health department official said on Friday. Of the 10 fresh cases, nine have travel history while one was detected during contact tracing, the official said. The death toll remained at 61 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, he said.

09:58 AM IST

Thane district of Maharashtra records 331 new Covid-19 cases, 7 deaths

With the addition of 331 new Covid-19 cases, the tally in Thane district of Maharashtra has gone up to 2,37,660, an official said on Friday. He said the death toll rose to 5,849 after seven more patients succumbed to the infection.

The official said the Covid-19 recovery rate in the district is 95.53 per cent (2,27,048), while the mortality rate is 2.46 per cent (5,849). Thane district now has 4,763 active cases, he said.

09:31 AM IST

Jharkhand reports 211 new Covid-19 cases, three more deaths

Jharkhand's Covid-19 caseload mounted to 1,12,332 as 211 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Friday. The death toll increased to 1,007 as three more persons succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, he said.

09:10 AM IST

Sweden's king says 'we have failed' over Covid-19, as deaths mount

Sweden's king said his country had failed in its handling of Covid-19, in a sharp criticism of a pandemic policy partly blamed for a high death toll among the elderly. Carl XVI Gustaf, whose son and daughter-in-law tested positive last month, used an annual royal Christmas TV special to highlight the growing impact of the virus, in a rare intervention from a monarch whose duties are largely ceremonial. Sweden has stood out from most countries by shunning lockdowns and face masks, leaving schools, restaurants and businesses largely open and relying mainly on voluntary social distancing and hygiene recommendations to slow the spread.

08:59 AM IST

Jakarta Sets Curfew for Restaurants, Malls to Curb Virus Spread

Indonesia’s capital is stepping up movement restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus as more people are set to travel to and from the city over the year-end holiday. Jakarta, already a hotbed of Covid-19 cases in the country, is limiting activities at various public places from Friday until Jan. 8, 2021, according to a statement Thursday. Offices must close by 7pm, while restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters and tourist sites must shut by 9pm. On Christmas and New Year public holidays, recreational sites must close by 7pm.

08:34 AM IST

Johnson & Johnson says late-stage Covid-19 vaccine trial fully enrolled

Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it has fully enrolled participants for the first late-stage trial of its Covid-19 single-dose vaccine candidate. The study, named Ensemble, has enrolled about 45,000 participants and is being conducted by its unit Janssen, J&J said in a statement, adding that it expects interim data from the trial by the end of January 2021. J&J also said it plans to submit an emergency use authorization application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February if the data from the study is safe and effective.

08:28 AM IST

Mizoram reports 9 new cases of Covid-19

Mizoram recorded nine fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours which pushed the infection tally to 4,094, according to the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Government of Mizoram. As per the state government, the total discharged cases in the state are 3,923. The active cases in the state are 164, while the death toll due to the infection is at seven.

First published: Dec 18, 2020 07:25 IST